Sunday, December 09, 2012

Comet C/2012 V4 in STEREO 4 December 2012

Comet C/2012 V4 in the H2B imager, 4 December 2012. Click to embiggen

 Comet C/2012 V4 is a recently discovered comet that has been tentatively identified with a return of the comet D/1827 M1 (Pons-Gambart). It is very low in the sky, and difficult to image with earth bound telescopes.

However, it is currently in the STEREO H2B imager (though it will soon pass out of view and into H1B's field of view).  In the meantime videos of the STEREO H2B images have been circulating claiming It is an "unknown object heading for for earth".

It is neither unknown nor heading for Earth as this orbit diagram makes clear. My less spectacular video of the comet is below.